Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Coffee Cake

Is there anything better than a snow day? There's a beautiful storm outside my window and I've got the day to myself. I sprung to action and hit the grocery store early - what else would I do but play in the kitchen when it looks like this outside?

I decided immediately that it was time for my first coffee cake. This is one of those breakfast items that I just never get around to making - who has the time to spend almost two hours baking before eating breakfast? Not me. But with the gallery closed and a winter wonderland outside, today I have the time. (Don't worry, I had a grapefruit to tide me over earlier this morning).

The cake was very easy to pull together and came out exactly like I'd hoped it would. I ended up bumping up the flavors a fair amount, so this ends up being a little bit more interesting than your standard coffee cake. The topping was flavorful and not overly sweet; the cake was moist and delicious. It was the perfect texture - dense enough for a breakfast cake but light enough that you aren't overwhelmed. I'm certainly going to be making this again, and I won't be waiting until the next snow day.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Adapted from Bon Appétit

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of cloves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each. Add vanilla and sour cream.
5. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.
6. Combine chopped nuts, brown sugar, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl (or just use the dry ingredients bowl you already have out). Use your fingers to make sure the brown sugar is properly broken up.
7. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with half of sugar/nut/spice mixture. Pour remaining batter over, and sprinkle the top with remaining mixture.

8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake has set and a toothpick comes out clean.

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